Moving After Retirement: Is It Right for You?

Thinking about moving after retirement? Discover insights to help you make an informed choice. Embrace a fresh beginning. Learn more.

Selling Your Home
September 17, 2023
Moving After Retirement: Is It Right for You?

We’re tied to our homes by a combination of necessity, preference, and habit. And for many of us, careers have been a major influence on where we live. 

As you enter retirement, you’re untangling yourself from the need to live near a workplace or business network. Even work-from-home-ers can let go of living within country borders or with the connectivity or home office space previously required. 

Instead, you can choose where you want to make a home based on what’s important to you—climate, culture, family, cost of living, and more. With all this in mind, let’s dive into the pros and cons of moving after retirement. 

The Pros and Cons of Relocating After Retirement

Is moving after retirement right for you? There are benefits and costs on either side of the equation, but going through the process of making a decision can lead to satisfaction that you end up in the right place during your retirement years—whether that’s across the globe or somewhere in the United States. 

Advantages of Moving After Retirement

Ready to pack it up? Moving after retirement can provide: 

  • Savings if you move to a location with a lower cost of living and housing prices
  • Mental stimulation needed to keep you engaged in a new place
  • The chance to shake up habits and behaviors for the better
  • Opportunity to see sights and experience activities you’ve put off

Challenges and Considerations to Keep in Mind

You’ll want to gather your resources and take it step by step if you’re navigating how to plan for retirement. It will take: 

  • Money to move and get set up in a new place
  • Energy to dismantle your current home and create a new one
  • Effort to create a new social network and daily schedule
  • Insecurity before you’re connected to new health care and other social security benefits

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Choosing Your Retirement Destination

Whether it’s a Phoenix sunshine community or a cabin in the mountains of Montana, it’s time to brainstorm every place you’ve imagined living. Was there a vacation spot you fell in love with in South Carolina? Did you grow up in Fort Worth and now miss your hometown? A town 1,000 miles away where your grandchildren are growing up? 

Exploring Different Locations

If you’ve lived in one state for many years, there are likely many conditions and “this is how we do it” factors that you don’t give a thought to. While you’ll be able to find a McDonald’s in any of the locations on a wish list, you may want to look into: 

  • Culture, entertainment, and activities that align with your interests
  • The type of wildlife and pests you may interact with
  • The highs, lows, humidity, and air quality you can handle
  • Public systems such as libraries or community education that you enjoy
  • The availability and maintenance of parks, recreation, and green areas

Factors Influencing Your Choice of Destination

Florida retirement communities are nothing to scoff at—and there are concrete reasons why seniors flock to the land of flamingos. In addition to its warm weather, beaches, and entertainment venues, the state offers: 

  • Zero tax on income including retirement benefits
  • No inheritance or estate taxes
  • Community—more than 40% of the population is over 501

Florida isn’t the only state that favors retirees. When you’re comparing possible destinations, look at: 

  • Tax rates on types of retirement income
  • Availability of health care
  • Presence of 55+ living retirement community options as well as transitional and assisted living 
  • Cost of living
  • Average home prices or rental rates
  • Transportation availability and costs

Note some of these factors are state- or country-specific, but many vary based on community size and location: whether you’re in a rural area, small town, suburb, or big city of the United States. 

Financial Implications of Relocation

When you weigh the pros and cons of moving after retirement, money is often among the top considerations. It can go in either direction—if you move to a desirable coastal town, big city, or resort-level senior retirement community, your checkbook will need to cover higher monthly bills. 

On the other hand, you can lower those bills by moving to a less populated area, a state with a tax structure that benefits seniors, and a town that balances available services with a lower cost of living. 

Cost of Living Comparisons

In June 2023, a half-gallon of milk would’ve cost you $2.56 in New York City versus $1.20 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.2 In other words, the number of dollars it takes to cover your monthly costs—groceries, gas, utilities, etc.—can more than double based on location. 

If you’re moving while working, then (hopefully) the salary difference balances out cost of living. On a fixed retirement income, however, it’s critical to take prices into account. 

Check out a cost of living calculator to see how far your income will go in different cities compared to your current location.3 

Selling vs. Renting Your Current Home

Now, you may be asking: Should I sell or rent my house when I retire? Moving after retirement usually means putting a For Sale sign in your yard, but you may want to consider renting out your property instead. On the plus side, renting can: 

  • Provide an income source if your home is paid off
  • Bring in more profit later if you expect your home value to increase
  • Allow you to return if you opt for a temporary move

Silver linings, however, come with clouds. Renting can also: 

  • Include the hassle and headaches of being a landlord
  • Limit potential income if you pay for a property management service
  • Lower your property value through tenant damage or vacancy

If you have experience with rental homes and someone you trust in mind to manage your property, you might lean toward renting instead of a sale. Renting a home is a great move when financially planning for retirement. Either way, do the math carefully before making a decision and consider: 

  • Impact on your cash flow
  • Need for immediate capital
  • Time, energy, and cost involved in property management
  • Current state of real estate and rental markets 

Emotional and Social Aspects

Leaving behind a work life that’s taken up a huge chunk of your waking hours and crafted part of your identity is jarring. Even if you’ve been saving and looking forward to your golden years, that much change is a challenge. 

Retirement itself can be a one-stop smorgasbord of emotional ups and downs, and moving after retirement opens up another potential stressor. Just as with your physical and financial health, plan on taking care of your emotional health as you start out. 

Building a New Social Network

Starting from scratch may be daunting, but with effort and intention, you can create new ties. Plan to: 

  • Join classes and groups based on activities you enjoy 
  • Investigate senior and community center and network offerings
  • Ask about resources through the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in the new location4
  • Introduce yourself to neighbors after moving to a new home

Maintaining Relationships from Afar

Luckily, we’re in a peak era for staying connected virtually. There are online meeting platforms you can use at no cost in addition to old-school phone, mail, and email. You may want to: 

  • Schedule regular times to connect virtually with each friend and family group
  • Create messaging app or text groups for quick updates
  • Plan visits in advance to fit everyone’s schedules and budgets
  • See who’s interested in exchanging letters and postcards

Practical Steps to a Successful Move

While it does require time and effort, the pros and cons of moving after retirement shouldn’t come down to the exhaustion of a move. Take it one small step (or drawer) at a time: 

  • Keep the communication open with everyone involved in the move
  • Download moving schedule and chore templates to help capture the to-do’s
  • Assign dates and ownership to tasks
  • Keep a notebook handy to write down questions and issues as they arise
  • Ask for help from family and friends
  • Hire a moving company to help take your belongings to your retirement relocation

Downsizing and Decluttering

There are several popular methods of organizing and reducing your belongings—have you used an item in the last year? Is it in line with your values? Does it bring you joy? When it comes to downsizing into a smaller home, you will want to declutter and simplify your belongings.

However you proceed, consider: 

  • Gifting heirlooms now to family and friends who will cherish them
  • Whether you’re holding onto something out of guilt response or a “should” statement
  • Giving items that you simply don’t want to go to waste to those who can use them
  • Converting documents and photos to digital records
  • The actual or probable dimensions of your new home

Navigating the Logistics of the Move

Moves can be tricky to time right, and after preparing to list and show the home with remodeling and redecorating, you’ll still need energy to handle the packing, closing, and moving end of the to-do list. 

Truehold's sale-leaseback can reduce your chore list and provide maximum flexibility for planning your new adventure. Instead of the weeks or months of work and uncertainty from a traditional sale, you can expedite a sale closing directly with us. Unlock your wealth and start using your home equity for retirement

The “leaseback” part of sale-leaseback means that you’ll be able to take your time before moving out—whether that’s an extra few months or counted in years—by remaining in your home as a renter. 

After closing, we’ll handle the cost and work of essential maintenance and repairs, property tax, and homeowner’s insurance. That frees you up to focus on your dreams, take your time deciding on what to do with belongings, and move exactly when you’re ready to go.

When you’re ready to review the process and see if Truehold's sale-leaseback option fits your financial picture and goals, give us a call and one of our expert advisors will connect with you. 


1. USAFacts. Our Changing Population: Florida.

2. Top 10 Most & Least Expensive States for Grocery Shopping in the US.

3. Sperling’s Best Places. 2023 Cost of Living Calculator.

4. Eldercare Locator by the Administration on Aging (AoA). Area Agencies on Aging.

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